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Sea Urchin injury

Discussion in 'Near Misses and Lessons Learned' started by mgmonk, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. mgmonk

    mgmonk Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    344
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    Ouch

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I just recently returned from a trip to Peurto Vallarta. I was there for a wedding, but thought that at least one dive was in order. The dive was good, very good actually. In the sense that diving in my shorts is always good.

    But it's what happened after the dive that I wanted to mention. Later that day I managed to step smack dab on top of a sea urchin whilst horse playing around some rocks (I know, mom, no horseplay). Anyway, my fiancé tried her best to get what she could out, but it's not easy. I had about 8 punctures, 4 straight in and 4 at an angle. I let 'em sit for 2 days, hoping they would dissolve, but after we looked into it the stories all pointed to having them removed as soon as possible. Including the redness indicating infection on the horizon.

    Last Wed. we sat in the ER from noon till 4. 2 hours of that was a surgeon alternately jabbing a syringe full of anesthesia into my foot and slicing my foot open with a scalpel. So she seems to have gotten most or maybe all of them out. Two spots look like they might still have spines in them, but it could be dried blood under the skin. Can’t tell yet.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share that. Also looking for any input any of you might have. Similar injuries, etc.

    cheers
    __________________
     
  2. mgmonk

    mgmonk Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    344
    14
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    THE ABOVE POST WAS FROM LAST MONTH AND ANOTHER FORUM.
    I thought I'd share over here as well.
    Below is the exciting conclusion to my foot issues.....




    Well, I finally decided to go to the DR. on Wed.
    One of the spots had become very sore, and while the rest of my foot had healed, I had a small bump where one of the spines had been left intact. I'd been too busy to get to a Doctor, but found a good day for it....then th damn thing popped out.

    I was sitting on the couch and taking a look at my foot when I realized that the spine was potruding a quarter of an inch. I reached down and pulled out a fully intact inch long spine.

    I feel great now. Looks like my foot had finally had enough.
     
  3. scubasean

    scubasean Loggerhead Turtle

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    The ER doc/Surgeon missed an intact inch-long foreign body in your foot?

    Holy cow!
     
  4. mgmonk

    mgmonk Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    344
    14
    0
    HA!
    ;)

    That's what I thought, but in fairness....

    she did spend over an hour and a half buthchering my foot, which meant
    1)it was hard to see what was going on down there
    2)she was tired
    3)I was in pain-probably figeting alot

    Besides, when it was all done, no one in the room could tell whether the black dots all over my foot were left over spines or dried blood.
     
  5. opiniongirl

    opiniongirl Instructor, Scuba

    551
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    Man: 0

    Nature: 24,977

    Sounds painful. When I first started diving I thought they shot their spines at you like porcupines. I was terrified.
     
  6. damo

    damo Guest

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    I'm sitting here at the moment with a few spines still in my hand from an incident in Thailand a week ago. We were dropped off in a shallow reef at night and before descending I bumped into a submerged rock, my impulse upon bumping into this rock was to put my hand down to support myself... big mistake - right onto an Urchin.

    Anyway the DM said "There isn't much you can do about it" so I just forgot about it and enjoyed the dive - none of the spines went as far as an inch, but I copped about 7 spines and my hand is reacting to it. Two spines have been naturally rejected from my palm, however the area is still a bit sore around the finger joints...

    Does anyone know what happens if you leave the spines in? (Will my body eventually reject them all?) I have been too busy to see a Doctor, and after the earlier post, I don't particularly want to...

    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  7. TikTok

    TikTok Solo Diver

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    Those black sea urchins are very common around here and I've had a fair few spines in my legs. Normally I do my best to pull them out (slowly and without bending them) immediately. I think they will be ejected naturally eventually. However, it can cause problems if they fragment whilst inside your hand/leg/whatever, effectively making many tiny pieces that need to be ejected.
     
  8. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

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    Porcupines can't "shoot" their quills either. Keep your distance and don't touch and you will be puncture free.
     
  9. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

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    I stepped on a black sea urchin once while I was surfing in Honolulu. I just went home, pulled out as much as I could, kept it clean, and in a few days everything was ok. The spines are calcium so your body just absorbs them after a while, although there are better ways of achieving your calcium MDR.
     
  10. damo

    damo Guest

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    Update...

    Well it's over two months later and my hand is back to normal - what I didn't mention earlier however, is my girlfriend also put her hand on a black urchin a couple of days before I did (Isn't that romantic, matching injuries) anyway her hand is still affected by the stings, her fingers are swolen and after taking a some Antibiotics (although that was still a month or so after the injury, probably too late), nothing has really helped, in fact it's still causing her pain.
    Anyway, she had an ultrasound on her hand today, they didn't find any spines, just a lot of infection.
    It just goes to show, the injuries can effect different people in different ways.
    The moral of the story: you can gamble with leaving it and you might be ok, but if you get a chance, see a Doctor early and get on the right Antibiotics.
     

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